Phygital for better UX

Mohammad Anisul Islam

25 March, 2019 12:00 AM printer

Phygital for better UX

Phygital is the concept of using both physical and technological components to keep a process going for impact user experience (UX) on different media. The word Phygital stands for connection of Physical and Digital. It is the process of combing physical experience with a digital experience.

Have you ever seen a cycle that has both motor and paddles? If you are tired somehow, you might be going on using the motor instead of riding with paddles or you have just lost your ATM cards, but still you can make payment by using your bank’s app on mobile?

Globally, ‘Phygital’ is becoming the buzzword. Companies are thinking on strategies for moving towards the era pf Phygital. Businesses need to interact with customers in different physical experience zones like restaurants, hotels, retails, hospitals, shopping malls, banks and others where it is expected that customers or clients will have some physical experiences and face-to-face interactions.

But, Phygital says ‘You don’t always need physical touches and presence to get all the required services from these places’ Phygital is the solution, System generated service and sales points will work to notify, educate, engage the customers to make sales or service delivery without physical presence.

Phygital, a collaboration of Physical and Digital activities, is the concept brands and businesses are using in their marketing and sales strategies.

Any company which interacts with customers in a physical location includent retail, restaurants, dealerships, hotels, is trying to enhance the physical experience with a digital experience.

The main component of this strategy is mobile technology. Customers’ presence aware devices are being used to notify, educate, or engage customers while they are physically near the business.

Tech giant Google recently termed these ‘micro-moments’ of service delivery through different tools that allow customers to learn more, click on by-now, make calls and find actual directions as like as physical experiences. Phygital enhance online experience as like as offline ones.

Already, some retailers and ecommerce marketplaces have implemented Phygital platforms.  A Phygital revolution is coming in other industries too.

When Phygital platform connects both online and offline worlds to allow stake-holders for creating user-experience closer, more efficient and intimate even though service receiver not closer the service delivery center.

Recently, IAB Spain has done a study, which finds that at least a seven out of ten tries to buy things online. But, do these people actually don’t like brick and mortar shop experience? They definitely like physical experiences too. But, having an online or interactive platform gives extra-millage as customers and getting busier.

Business environment is changing rapidly. New design thinking, Robotics, AI, Drones are taking places. Many have considered that technology backed service delivery systems will replace all traditional business. But a Harvard Business Review study tells that more than 83 percent customer journeys are still dependent on physical stores.

So, only going Digital is not the right thing. Combing physical with the digital would make the business processes more efficient.

Businesses must ensure fast, error-less, consistent customer experience in both physical and digital platforms. Phygital is not only distributing services through both the physical platform and online platform, but also ensuring best components for effective interactions, speed, relationship building, and making people connected with empathy.

Digital experience is not always meant to be effective for the best customer experience. People look for an experience that values him or her, that attracts to come again. Here. Phygital brings human interactions, digital screens, user manuals, virtual testers, live reviews, products comparison, ratings etc. These are part of those praise-worthy micro moments of Phygital platforms. Some organizations have adopted AR/VR devices to give the customers real feel about the products.

Phygital will let the businesses to be present anywhere, anytime, as it becomes the more efficient to be available in all possible distribution channels. Proper implementation of Phygital platforms, it will not only increase the efficiency and availability but also ensure personalized relationship with target market. In most cases, proper synchronization is not always present.

To ensure Phygital experience, organizations should go through some self-corrections and in-house innovations for smooth service delivery. There’s no scope to discriminate among physical store customers and online store customers.

Due to rise of technology, businesses are in a rush to go with the speed of digital components. Both the traditional businesses and recent ones are trying to capture the digital distribution models, rather than making current system efficient.

NFC and RFID connectivity can exchange data among the customers and businesses. Large companies, like Google, Amazon, Apple, are investing hugely on combining human interactions with technologies. Technology experts find it that human buying decisions need sensory perceptions, like touch, feel, realize and physical engagement.

So, Phygital is going to be the next big thing where technologies, virtual realities, 3D Printing, Digital Point of Sales, Hand-held devices will have capacity to see more human interactions and physical components, that can be touched, realized and felt in receiving any kind of service deliver, whether it is in shopping, retail, financial transactions, education etc. And we need our mind ready not to focus only on digital platforms to go with the flow.


— Mohammad Anisul Islam is a marketing, new media and technology enthusiast. He works at ACI Logistics Ltd (Shwapno). Reach him at [email protected]